Dr. Anthony Fauci made his first appearance on late-night television Thursday night, where he sent a strong message to young people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“If you think you’re completely invulnerable, you’re incorrect,” Fauci told Trevor Noah via video chat on the host’s home-based “The Daily Social Distancing Show.”
“Even though you may not get seriously ill, you can get infected with very few symptoms,” he said, “but then you can infect another person who will then infect a vulnerable person, who will then die.”
Fauci knows his stuff; as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a doctor for the National Institutes of Health, he has advised six U.S. presidents on matters of domestic and global health. He’s become a trusted voice during the coronavirus pandemic.
Then the doc spoke directly to Gen Z and Millennials:
“It’s the typical example. ‘I’m young, I’m healthy,’ but then you go home, you infect grandma, grandpa and you’re sick uncle,” he said. “So you have a responsibility not only to protect yourself, but you almost have a societal, moral responsibility to protect other people.”
“They’re not understanding two things that are important,” he said of the younger, healthier members of the population who have engaged in risky exposure. “Even though you are young, you are not absolutely invulnerable for sure, because we’re seeing cases, most of them have some underlying diseases but several don’t, who are young people, 30s, 40s, who are getting sick,” he said. “Still, the overwhelming proportion are the elderly with underlying disease.”
Fauci also told Noah that the coronavirus is “the worst nightmare you could have” when it comes to widespread illness.
“People used to ask me over the years, what is it that I’m most worried about with regards to emerging infectious disease?” Fauci said.
His answer: “A respiratory born illness that easily spreads from person to person, but that has a high degree of morbidity and mortality.”
Watch the full video above.